Recently, the NSCA Education Foundation spoke with Laurie Englert, Vice President of Customer Experience from Milestone AV Technologies. Laurie told the story of Milestone’s community involvement over the last 7 years and highlighted what the company has had the chance to do in its community. Because Milestone is global, its “community” has little boundaries; the company is able to connect all over the world. In and around Milestone’s corporate headquarters in Minnesota, however, it is extremely visible in the community.
In 2008, Milestone created a team it calls Community Connections. The team (or committee) sits roughly 10-15 people each serving two-year terms. It includes team members from the corporate office to the shop floor and involves people who work on Chief, Da-lite and Sanus Brands. Employees can easily log into a special area on their intranet to participate in a variety of charitable acts. Employees are encouraged to log in and submit information about charities or events they are passionate about to be considered for the upcoming year. This initiative is very important to Milestone because it focuses on what employees want instead of the committee deciding what to do without input. They also believe strongly that employees should be involved so they focus more on helping organizations through volunteering than just providing financial donations. It’s not uncommon to have groups of volunteers help at local churches serving food; a team of walkers sporting matching t-shirts at a 5K to help a good cause or a group of painters helping the elderly spruce up their homes.
Each year, the Community Connections team commits to supporting certain activities and charitable acts, focusing on those charities who are a 501 3c or equivalent in international markets. They have helped the Ronald McDonald House, Habitat for Humanity, Feed My Starving Children, local food shelves and the list goes on. This support involves employees getting down and dirty in the community, as well as expressing their creativity. The food drive, for instance, features a contest where donated canned and boxed goods are used to create lively sculptures that are voted on by employees. All sculpture food goes directly to Second Harvest or a comparable Food Shelf.
Laurie and the Milestone employees have established a great relationship with NSCA and the NSCA Education Foundation. Not only are they partners for the NSCA Education Foundation Annual Industry Charity Golf Outing, but they’re also 2015 sponsors of the large Drunk Unkles concert fundraiser in Orlando in June, which they’ve done for several years.
Innovative connection to its employees is what keeps Milestone thinking outside of the box on how to be involved and relevant to what their communities need. They couldn’t be happier to do it!
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